Lowland League Preview – Matchday 30

It’s the final round of fixtures on Saturday so here’s your final set of league previews for another season…


by Craig Edwards

The battle to finish in the top four reaches its conclusion on Saturday as Spartans welcome Cumbernauld Colts to Ainslie Park knowing a point would squeeze them ahead of Edinburgh rivals Civil Service Strollers.

With Strollers not playing on the final day of the season, Spartans know exactly what they need to do to move ahead of them in the league table and secure a potential Irn Bru Cup spot next season.

Cumbernauld Colts themselves will hope to secure a final three points of the season as they fight East Stirlingshire for sixth place in the table.

The visitors have won two of their last three games while Spartans have failed to win any of their last three. Spartans last win was against Civil, a team Cumbernauld beat 3-0 last Saturday.

Spartans won 2-0 at Broadwood Stadium earlier in the season and another result like that would secure a top four finish.

Ones to watch

Spartans – Blair Atkinson

Cumbernauld Colts – Craig Holmes


Edinburgh University vs Whitehill Welfare

by Martin Fleming

Whitehill Welfare make their final journey of the season to East Peffermill this weekend hoping to seal a victory before they depart the Lowland League after their relegation was confirmed a few weeks ago.

Tenth place Edinburgh University come off a massive 6-0 win over Vale of Leithen thanks to a hat-trick from Greg Swan and if they manage all three points once again could jump up to an eighth place finish dependent on other results.

Meanwhile Whitehill make the travel with nothing to play for but their pride. A victory would at least see an awful season finish on a positive note before the Edinburgh side play in the East of Scotland league next season.

Ones to watch

Edinburgh University – Finn Daniels-Yeoman

Whitehill Welfare – Kieran Somerville


Kelty Hearts v East Kilbride

By Anthony Evans

Kelty Hearts welcome champions East Kilbride to New Central Park as they hope to cap off what has been an excellent first season in the Lowland League.

Despite missing out on second place in the table after a stunning come back from BSC Glasgow against tomorrow’s opponents, Barry Ferguson and his side have exceeded expectations in securing a top three finish.

EK on the other hand, will be looking to bounce back after their last gasp defeat to BSC at home last weekend, a defeat saw them lose their unbeaten run in the Lowland League which stretched back to last October.

Kilby boss Stuart Malcolm will be hoping for a response from his team, with their crucial two-legged tie with Highland League champions Cove Rangers on the horizon for a place in the League Two relegation play off.

EK looked unusually shaky at the back last week, and with Kelty’s Stuart Cargill netting 16 times in the Lowland League this season, the visitors will know they will have to tighten up this time around.

Kilby’s Michael Anderson was impressive in the defeat to BSC, picking up the club’s Man of The Match award, and a similar performance tomorrow could see his team be on the other end of a result this time around.

Ones to Watch

Kelty Hearts – Scott Christie

East Kilbride – Craig Malcolm


BSC Glasgow v East Stirlingshire

By Anthony Evans

BSC Glasgow host East Stirlingshire at the Indoorhill Stadium tomorrow, following their stunning late comeback to beat Lowland League champions East Kilbride last week.

The result did not flatter the visitors, it also ensured that Stephen Swift’s men finished as runners up to Kilby.

BSC will now hope to finish their excellent campaign on a high against an East Stirlingshire side that have been in decent form of late.

The Shire ran out as comfortable victors in their last away fixture, a 3-0 win at bottom club Whitehill Welfare, and then picked up a point at home to Spartans last week.

Although East Stirlingshire fans will now have to endure another season out of the SPFL, tomorrow’s match does give them the chance to finish 6th in the table, as they currently hold the position ahead of Cumbernauld Colts on goal difference.

Player-Manager Derek Ure has been busy this week preparing for the next league campaign, with key defenders Connor Greene and Andy Grant both extending their contracts with the club.

Shire star Ross Allum is second only to East Kilbride’s Craig Malcolm in the Lowland League goalscoring charts, with 18 goals for the season and will be hoping to add to his tally tomorrow. Euan O’Reilly was excellent for BSC in their win over EK and will surely be heavily involved again if his side are to end the league season with another three points.

Ones to Watch

BSC Glasgow – Carlo Pignatiello

East Stirlingshire – Paul McCafferty


Dalbeattie Star vs Vale of Leithen

by Jordan Robertson

This may appear, on paper, to be a dead rubber end of season game. However, both sides will be looking to end their season on a high.

The hosts sit one place below Vale in the league and have picked up some impressive wins in recent weeks. They managed to defeat two league high flyers when they beat both Kelty Hearts and BSC Glasgow, although they did lose last time out to Gala Fairydean Rovers.

The visitors have not been in good form recently and have lost 6 of their last 7. They will take confidence from the fact that they have defeated Dalbeattie the past two times both sides have met. The home side will be hoping that it is third time lucky for them.

Ones to watch

Dalbeattie Star – Lewis Todd

Vale of Leithen – Liam Ireland


Edusport Academy vs University of Stirling

by Jordan Robertson

Stirling University travel to face Edusport Academy knowing that a win could potentially move them up to ninth in the table, depending on results elsewhere.

A ninth-place finish would mark a solid season for the central Scotland side, and this may spur them on to defeat an Edusport side who have won their last two games.

Chris Geddes terrific work with the club was again evident through the week as Lewis Hunter earned himself a move to League One side East Fife after agreeing a pre-contract deal.

Edusport have had an up and down season. It has been a campaign marked by inconsistency, however a win would end the season on a positive note and allow them to build and focus on next season’s campaign.

There has never been a winner in the previous three meetings between both these sides so this may finally be the day we see someone come out on top.

Ones to watch

University of Stirling – Rory MacEwan

Edusport Academy – Matthew Flynn


Gretna 2008 vs Gala Fairydean Rovers

by Ronan Alexander

In another match between the tight batch of five clubs in the bottom half of the table, Gretna 2008 welcome Gala Fairydean Rovers to Raydale Park.

The hosts come into the match with three victories in their last four matches and another three points could see them leapfrog their counterparts.

Gretna top-scorer Kevin Connelly has been pivotal in these results, scoring seven goals in his last four matches.

For the visitors, Dean Shanks side will be hoping for a victory that could see them end the campaign eighth in the table. The Borders club are unbeaten in their last four games with three consecutive draws before defeating Dalbeattie Star last weekend thanks to a Ruari Paton brace.

When the two teams last met back in October, Gretna 2008 ran out 2-0 winners with Connelly on target for both goals.

Ones to watch

Gretna 2008 – Kevin Connelly

Gala Fairydean Rovers – Ruari Paton